The Awesome Part About Having a Super-Intense First Child

K-Pants, Angry Reindeer. MomsicleBlog

If you hang out around us, I’m sure K-Pants has insulted you, refused to say goodbye to you, screamed and grimaced in a menacing Joker face at you or your kid.

I’ve dragged my five-year-old back from the park so many times while he’s yelled, “You’re a BAD MOM!” that I’ve crossed parks off my list of kid activities. If you come over, you’ll probably be tempted to “help” me parent him, coaxing him to be polite or talk to his parents or his brother in a nicer way.

It comes from a loving place. And these are issues that you’ve probably managed to work out with your child. You’re wondering why I’m not just a little bit stricter, or more consistent, or better researched with my own parenting.

I stopped to reflect on this the other day.

I would have assumed from the outside looking in that I would be developing an inferiority complex given that, for all my efforts, I haven’t turned the wildling into a compliant subject of the realm. I would guess that the incessant application of the outside judgment chisel would be hurting my mojo.

Strangely not.

Here’s what I figure: The awesome part about having a super-intense kid is that I don’t have time to notice much judgment or dwell on it. I’m too myopic about getting through the day, feeding people, and trying not to turn into a screaming banshee lady as I’m put down over and over.

Also, I have a nose like a hound dog for finding other parents whose mental energy is constantly drained by kid insults and miniscule negotiations for social acceptability, and who may have household items thrown at them with regularity.

Plenty of people have thoughts or advice for me, but I’m very good at avoiding conversations with them. I only talk about parenting with about five people who have suffered the kind of total debasement that has left them hollow and humble.

Had K-Pants succumb to my parenting strategery, I would post way more cute pictures of us pretending to drink cappuccinos at Starbucks and talk about how blessed we are. We are blessed, undeservedly so, but all the time I would spend posting these adorable, wonderful things for you to see is spent finishing up lessons including:

  • When you hide under the covers before bedtime you can’t punch me to let me know you’re there and then tell me, “I never have fun at this game.”
  • When we say prayers we don’t say “amen” in a hissing, clawing, feral cat voice.
  • This day is not “the worst day ever” because your brother won the race to the car and then you shoved him onto the concrete and got a time out—it’s just another day.

Had Boy Woww been the first child, I would have thought I was the sh*t at parenting, and you and I would have shared knowing superiority glances as we watched another parent take a beating and then drag a screaming child to the car while the kid shouted, “I HATE YOU, MOM!” We would whisper to each other, She should read 1-2-3 Magic or How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, it would save her so much energy and embarrassment!

If K-Pants would have been the second-born, he would have stolen all of my imaginary gold parenting stars that I’d plastered all over myself. And my skin would have been itchy and red, with no reward in sight.

So even though you might think, rightfully so, that K-Pants can be rude and sullen and hurt everyone’s feelings around him with reckless abandon—I have a long-term strategy to win the war. Endurance. And because endurance takes all of my energy, I’ve been generally unaware of both outside awesomeness and outside judgment for years—and I’m left thinking my kid is pretty cool.

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27 responses to “The Awesome Part About Having a Super-Intense First Child

  1. Not that I’m biased, but he is pretty cool. We certainly had these moments ourselves with the four of you growing up. I still have these moments, just ask Rosie 🙂 He’s a wonderful little man and you’re wonderful parents and I’m so glad you can write about it.

  2. I love this post. So honest. So true. So inspiring. From everything I know about you, you’re an awesome parent, and K-Pants is pretty darn cool. 🙂

  3. i wish i had your attitude earlier in my parenting life.. my kid#2 wasn’t super intense in the same fashion but i got plenty of judgement/advice/smh’s as we dealt with years of in-school acting out….stick to your guns.. parenting is a long game..those judgy mcjudgeasons can’t see the forest for the trees…

  4. Straight from the heart! And I think you deserve a wall of gold stars for loving your children so much, and being such a wonderful mom, even when it’s messy and hard and dignity-stealing!!

  5. Adriane Blackman

    Anyone who is standing in glaring judgement has either never been a parent (who cares as massively as you do) or is in COMPLETE denial. LOVE, this post. So real. So honest.

    • Thanks, Adriane! I’m with you. I think there’s a third option, too–sometimes people are protecting themselves and need to do so by alienating me and my chaos… 🙂

  6. I love this. We are discovering how wonderful it is to have had high-maintenance children first. Every time we think about our youngest, we are so grateful that we didn’t have her first. Had we done that, we would have been beside ourselves trying to figure out the other two. We appreciate the ease of infancy so much more now that we know how it could be. Your endurance is inspiring. Keep it up, and keep track of what works for you. I’ll need lessons!

    • I’m just praying that our third follows yours! Who knows what we’re in store for! Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments and blog love, B!

  7. Because Amina…

  8. Having an intense second kid is easier in some ways though…

    There’s a semi-freeing feeling of, “It’s not me, it’s you,” when you’ve exhausted your bag of tricks. It also gives a little confidence and armor against experts, professional or otherwise, who need to tell you how to “fix” the situation.

    Still, those are hard feelings in their own way. I don’t know. Raising complex people is hard.

  9. This is the story of my life. It’s really hard for people to understand where I’m coming from unless they live it too. My daughter is our first born too. Intense is a nice word for what she is. Her brother came along 3 years later and I always swear he could be raised by monkeys he’s so easy.

  10. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on your blog, and I just don’t know why I ever stay away! I absolutely love reading your posts! They are funny (I always laugh out loud), insightful, real and just plain fun. I like the way you look at the world and write about it. Thanks. And I’ll be back sooner next time 😉

  11. If only those with kiddos like this were not in seclusion from the public eye so much, LOL! I wish I knew just one other parent that has a Max like mine.

  12. I have a super chilled first baby and i’m worried my ‘gold stars’ are going to be ripped off me with the arrival of #2 lol. Great post 🙂

  13. Pingback: Happy Birthday K-Pants, You Wild, Wonderful Thing | momsicle

  14. My first wasn’t hard in this way, but I agree completely about how a hard first child makes you doubt yourself (or become really good at making excuses). I can’t count the number of parenting books I’ve read, courses I’ve followed, experts I’ve consulted, because I was obviously doing something wrong. Then #2 came along and after spending a couple of months struggling until I realised he didn’t *want* to be rocked to sleep, liked a lot more peace and quiet and wanted to go to bed at normal baby bedtime, he opened my eyes up to the fact that this was why other mums weren’t having as much trouble as me because *this* child was reacting to life completely differently, i.e. according to the books. #1 is now 21 and still follows his own merry way, irritating the world, but he also has some wonderful qualities. He just needs to find his own place in the world. #2 always followed the rules and felt like he needed to be ‘the good one’. Now he’s 19 and following his own convoluted path to adulthood. #3, daddy’s little angel, quietly refusing to be girly just because the other girls at school were, and proud to be ‘different’. A house-full of non-conformists and a company man make for some conflict, but I’m proud of them all.

    • Ha! I love the house full of non-conformists and a company man! It’s wonderful to hear other parents perspectives, especially with older/grown children. Thank you!

  15. Pingback: Let’s Talk About Postpartum Depression | momsicle

  16. You mean 1-2-3 Magic doesn’t work? LMAO. I’m there with you! On at least 2 out of 3 kids so far (#3 it’s too early to tell).

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